Laurel company keeps employees working by producing masks

Updated: Apr. 29, 2020 at 6:07 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Clairmont and Co. in Laurel has spent the last 12 years making home décor and gifts for customers, but due to COVID-19, business has taken a hit.

“We started seeing that we were going to get effected by COVID,” said company president Stephen Clairmont. “By mid-March it was full blown. I didn’t like the idea of sending our employees home for an indefinite period, so we actually had to furlough everybody.”

Clairmont says he did not want to keep his employees out of a job, so he had them start making face masks.

“We are making cotton masks that are two-layered,” Clairmont said. “We basically just sew the outside. They come with an insert to put a filter in.”

The company has been able to bring all employees back to work and is even looking to hire more workers.

“Local people, teachers, people with sewing experience or maybe someone who got laid off,” Clairmont said.

This week marks a month since the company has started making the masks.

The masks range in design, some having inspirational quotes or pictures on them.

“This is really a thing that I think is going to give people courage and gives people hope, especially when people are sick and, in the hospital,” Clairmont said. “There’s no better time to have an inspirational message.”

Clairmont and Co. has partnered with local hospitals and health clinics to provide masks for medical staff.

Several local businesses have also purchased masks from the company to be distributed to the public.

So far, Clairmont and Co. has made more than 5,000 masks and averages making around 1,500 a week.

Mask prices range from $8 to $10.

If you would like to purchase a mask, you can call the company at 601-342-8084.

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